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Riverhead Democrats lead in campaign cash

07/21/2019 6:00 AM |

Democratic Riverhead Town Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith has raised far more in campaign contributions than her Republican opponent Yvette Aguiar, and the Riverhead Democratic Committee has raised more than the Republicans in the July campaign contribution reports on file with the State Board of Elections.

The Democrats also have more money on hand in their closing balance than their Republican counterparts and have received a lot of contributions from unions thus far. Ms. Jens-Smith said the Democrats had a labor breakfast fundraiser to try and get donations from unions.

“We obviously solicit unions to come to our fundraiser and they make the decision as to whether they want to support me or not,” she said. “Thankfully, they have.”

Her opponent, Ms. Aguiar, is new to campaigning but said she’s confident she can win.

“I am solid in my campaign,” Ms. Aguiar said. “I already have great momentum and I’m real positive and I’ll see you at my inauguration.”

She said she hasn’t reviewed the Democratic candidates’ campaign filings yet because she’s concentrating on setting up her next fundraiser, sending out mailings and meeting the community.

“I realize the extent that money is involved in running for office,” she said. “I’m a planner, I’m a business person, and I know exactly what has to be done. I’ve already researched it.”

Because there are no primaries in Riverhead Town, the January 15 and July 15 periodic campaign finance disclosure filings are the only ones that will be filed in this year’s election prior to Oct. 4.

Below is a rundown of the July 15 filings:

Political committees

• The Riverhead Democratic Committee had an opening balance of $27,079; they raised $28,605 and spent $16,288, for a closing balance of $39,395.

Top donators for the Democrats were largely unions. The Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 28 gave $4,000; Local 25 IBEW gave $2,000; the New York State Laborers PAC gave $2,000; the Plumbers Local Union gave $1,225.

The Democrats also had three “unitemized” contributions, cash contributions not attributed to anyone, totaling $1,560.

Ms. Jens-Smith said the unitemized contributions were all on the same day and were probably from a fundraiser, where only people contributing more than $100 are required to have their name disclosed, she said. The amount listed as the contribution is likely from a group of people who attended the fundraiser.

• Riverhead Republicans started the July 15 period with an opening balance of $5,549 and raised $19,420 and spent $13,077, for  closing balance of $11,892.

• Top Republican Committee contributors are Delea Sod Farm, Frank Beyrodt’s family business, at $1,700; Apple Honda at $1,100; candidate Yvette Aguiar at $1,000; and Southold Recycling at $740;

Supervisor

• Incumbent Democratic Laura Jens-Smith had an opening balance of $13,624, she raised $24,339 and spent $6,885, for a closing balance of $31,078.

She received $1,000 contributions from Nancy Goroff, who is running for Congress as a Democrat; Georgica Green Holdings of Jericho, which is building a 116-unit apartment complex downtown; Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 28; Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association; Mason Tenders District Council of Greater New York; Paul Spensieri of Glen Head; Ira Pittelman of Manhattan; and Vero Holdings LLC of Setauket.

• Republican challenger Yvette Aguiar was not yet a candidate in January, so her first disclosure report was July 15. She raised $10,615 and spent $5,493, for a balance of $5,121.

Ms. Aguiar’s top contributors were Riverhead New Car Dealers Association, which has the same address was Apple Honda, at $1,000; and Michael Benincasa at $750.

Democratic Council candidates

Democratic Council candidates Pat Snyder and Diane Tucci both were not yet candidates in January, so their July 15 disclosure reports were their first.

• Ms. Snyder raised $4,530 and spent $474, for a balance of $4,055. Her biggest contribution was $250, and she received that amount for Stephen Bard of Hauppauge; Michael McLaughlin of Manhattan; Alice Van de Wetering of Calverton and Charlotte Gualtieri of East Moriches.

• Ms Tucci raided $1,852 and spent $458, for a closing balance of $1,393. Her biggest contribution was $250 from Long Island Aquarium.

Republican Council Candidates

Both incumbent Tim Hubbard and challenger Frank Beyrodt have run before and have existing campaign accounts.

• Mr. Beyrodt stated with $14 as an opening balance, and then raised $18,175 and spent $1,040, for a closing balance of $17,040. His top contributors were Mahoney Associates of Southampton, and Greg Long Agency of Pleasantville, N.Y., and Delea Sod Farms, each at $1,500; Van de Wetering Greenhouses; Vincent Sasso of Delea; and his father Frank Beyrodt Sr. each at $1,000.

• Mr. Hubbard had an opening balance of $185, raised $5,215 and spent $2,689 for a closing balance of $2,710.

His top contribution was $300 each from engineer Dennis Kelleher of H2M and Robert Salvatico of Hotel Indigo.

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